Conditions have deteriorated
The New York Times published a long, detailed, thoroughly reported and damning story ($) about the conditions inside a border patrol facility in Clint, Texas. (The New Mexican has cross-published it, too ($), in case you have a subscription to one paper and not the other.) On Sunday the US government denied that bad conditions exist ($ TNM). The president called the story "phony and exaggerated," and last week went so far as to say that migrants are living better in detention facilities here ($ NYT) than they did in their own countries.
From the horse’s mouth
The Albuquerque Journal, meanwhile, continues its coverage on the border, and today published a story in which reporters talked to migrants who were returned to Mexico after spending time in US detention centers; "They treated us very badly," one woman said.
Now-infamous financier Jeffrey Epstein, friend of the rich and famous (including the president), is having his day in court related to charges of sex trafficking. Turns out Epstein has a ranch down near Stanley, New Mexico, and that many of the assaults of which he is accused allegedly happened there. Meanwhile, one nonprofit calls sex trafficking in Albuquerque "rampant," and in March SFR reported on New Mexico's trouble defining sex trafficking in the first place.
It ain’t over yet
The saga surrounding former state Rep. Carl Trujillo isn't over yet. Lobbyist Laura Bonar, who accused the senator of sexual harassment last year and made his race against Andrea Romero one of the hottest in the state (Romero won), has asked that Trujillo drop a defamation suit against her, calling it "an act of petty vengeance." Trujillo says he is considering dropping the suit simply because he doesn't want "to be legally entangled with these types of people for years to come."
Former District Court Judge Sarah Singleton died of cancer last week. Singleton, 70, was called "witty and well-liked" ($ TNM) and "a force of nature." Singleton handed down a number of high-profile rulings in the last decade, in particular "an order that led to the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses in 2013, invalidating 10 vetoes by then-Gov. Susana Martinez in 2017 and finding in 2018 that New Mexico violated the constitutional rights of some students by failing to provide a sufficient education."
Need to ease yourself back into the world of the thinking today? Take a few minutes to look at some art instead of read. Last week SFR kicked off our inaugural Illustrator's Cup, in which artists were invited to submit their political cartoons, portraits and other art for judging and publication. The print issue came out pretty snazzy, too, so if you're a local, pick one up off newsstands while you still can.
Keeping it level
Families making up to 200% of the federal poverty level will remain eligible for childcare assistance in New Mexico, says the administration of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. This comes after former Gov. Susana Martinez' administration lost a court case in which the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty claimed that the assistance threshold had been illegally lowered to 150%. The state Children, Youth and Families Department has expressed fears that funding will not support the 200% level, but the gov has said it shall be so.
Water is the essence of wetness
Anyone else feel like they're swimming through the air? This humidity, tho. (The Word was raised in the swamps of New Jersey, by the way, but has clearly lost her ability to cope.) It should get warmer and drier today, with the air squeegeeing itself out and rising to 85 degrees.
Thanks for reading! The Word is considering making even more banana bread.